Jim Ross On Criticism Over Calling Randy Orton “The Best Wrestler Today”

On the latest episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross stated that Randy Orton is the best wrestler in the world, but also gave Kenny Omega his props. Since that, social media has been abuzz, including Chris Jericho, who came out and defended his fellow AEW ally Kenny Omega, saying Omega is the best in the world.

Ross clarified his statement and talked about the backlash he received from those comments. The AEW commentator said there's no way to quantify who is the best in the world and when you say that, it's only an opinion.

"We got a little controversy going," Ross said. "Apparently I said that I thought Randy Orton was the best wrestler in the world. People forget that I recruit these guys. I have had a business association with a guy like Randy Orton since day one. Coach Barry Switzer once said 'You recruit these kids for life,' and I kind of take that to heart. I've helped a lot of guys that got down on their luck and needed a cheque way past my WWE days.

"Apparently people thought I was besmirching Kenny Omega, that I was dissing Kenny. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I can have many opinions on this question, many answers and today my flavor of the day was [Randy Orton]. I don't know if that could be such a big issue. I really don't get it, I don't get what the inflammation is regarding this topic that is so subjective. There's no right or wrong answer. He's the best in the world, based on what? Arm Drags? Drop toe holds? Money drawn? Major events headlines? Tenure? What is the criteria? T.V. ratings? I don't know what the criteria is for these things but anybody that can debate me and tell me that Randy Orton is not one of the best wrestlers in the world will have a hard time winning that argument. Anybody can debate me and say well, I think Kenny Omega is. Well, if you make a good point I don't have any problem with that. Kenny Omega is the AEW champion, he's a hell of a hand there's no doubt about it."

Ross continued to talk about how much social media has hurt wrestling in his eyes saying he doesn't see why his comments created such a buzz on social media. He also spoke about Omega and his work, saying he's a hell of a performer and that he was just giving his honest opinion in the moment.

"I'm not so sure how great in some sense that social media is for pro wrestling today," Ross said. "It's one little botch, one little missed word, one little missed move and it becomes a major issue. It's predictable first of all, but it's getting a little bit tired."

"I have a lot of respect for Kenny Omega and I love his work rate and he's a hell of a performer. A person's got to be able to have their opinion. I hope people understand that this show is not like a lot of other podcasts, we're honest."

WWE star Kofi Kingston also joined the debate, stating that Randy Orton belongs in the G.O.A.T conversation along with the best in the world today. The AEW commentator continued on about Omega vs. Orton, saying there's no criteria to judge who's the best in the world. Ross mentioned how he doesn't like that on social media so many people come back at you after expressing a personal opinion.

"I don't f***ing know who the best wrestler in the world is," Ross said. "Because we have no criteria to judge it by. So many points for money drawn, so many points for years of service, there's none of that. Just a matter of an opinion on that day. If you didn't have Orton and you had Kenny, then you're good. It's disheartening sometimes that when you express an opinion people read it out of context because all the people are seeing is that JR said Orton is the best wrestler in the world."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.